About the Leadership Summit

Since 2017, NAFOA has hosted our annual Leadership Summit for selected Native American youth who participate in our online youth programs and demonstrate a strong interest in learning more about tribal finance and tribal economies.

The Leadership Summit is open for application to self-identifying Native American youth ages 20-26 who participated in the Career Basics program.* Applicants are selected based on their essay responses, completion of Career Basics, academic performance, and professional and/or extracurricular experiences. Selected participants will have a full day of programming covering career development, business and economic development topics, and a chance to network with peers

This year, the Leadership Summit will be held at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California on Sunday, September 20. Youth interested in applying must be available to attend.

Following the Summit, participants will attend the NAFOA Fall Finance & Tribal Economies Conference. The two-day conference provides networking opportunities and facilitates important dialogues about tribal finance and economic issues impacting tribal economies.

Need-Based Funding

Need-Based funding is available for conference, accommodations and travel assistance for selected Leadership Summit participants. Eligible youth who are financially able to support themselves may apply to attend the Leadership Summit without applying for need-based funding.

Apply for the Leadership Summit

Important Dates

  • Application open: April 30, 2020
  • Application deadline: August 10, 2020
    • Notification date: end of August/early September
  • Program Dates:
    • Leadership Summit: September 20, 2020
    • NAFOA Fall Conference: September 21-22, 2020


Applicants must:

  • Be a self-identifying Native/indigenous youth between the ages of 20-26 years old by the program start and end date;
  • Be available to attend during the program dates, including travel before and after;
  • Reside within the continental United States at the time of the program (i.e., applicant does not need to travel from/to outside the US); and
  • Actively participate and complete the NAFOA Career Basics program prior to the Summit.
    • *Youth who participated in the NAFOA Academy who are interested in applying for the Summit should email education@nafoa.org to check your eligibility.


The 2020 NAFOA Leadership Summit is generously supported by

Wells Fargo